I have a lot of dumb tendencies. Among my dumbest is my silly perfectionism. It's so dumb, and I know it's dumb, but it still makes me crazy.
Case in point:
I was sick for a week. Then I was very busy at work for a week. Then my piano teacher was sick for a week. All this time, my theory "classes" have been on hold, partly because my theory teacher has had several performances on Friday afternoons, which is normally the day that I have theory.
And poor George is tuned, but the string for the "A" the octave above Middle C had to be replaced, and it's already twanging off-key. Kind of a hard on the ear when you're working on a piece that goes back and forth from D minor to A minor to D minor to D major.
Plus, I haven't been able to practice at lunchtime for the last week and a half. Which means the piano and I, normally such close companions, are practically strangers of late.
Now. It's not like I'm in school and I'm required to do this. Piano and theory/composition are something I do for fun. I haven't the talent, the time, nor the ambition to be a concert pianist or a great composer, though it's fun to dream. I do this because I love this. Which means that, when Life gets in the way of Music, Life generally takes precedence.
(Now that last paragraph didn't feel right. Because a little voice in my head said, "But what if you do have the talent?" If I do--or did--have the talent, then that means I've wasted precious years of my life doing Other Things. Although I'll readily admit that I have never had the ambition to put in the time and effort required to achieve the perfection that I so irrationally expect of myself.)
But then, when Life is tired of hogging the spotlight and it's time to focus on Music again ... I get very, very frustrated with the fact that what sounded so beautiful a month ago sounds like crap now.
OK, so it doesn't sound like crap. But it does when you compare it to how it sounded a month ago. And I wonder why I even bother.
And I'm mad at myself. I get into this mode of thought that I should be the Greatest Cubicle-Dwelling Amateur Adult Pianist In The World. As good as an 8-Hour-A-Day Dead-End Job Technical Writer could possibly be at piano. The Most Musically Sensitive And Pianistically Talented Office Worker. Ever.
It's stupid. I know I shouldn't expect to be Great. I once did, but that was during childhood and in high school, before I made the decision not to pursue music for a career. Whatever a "career" is supposed to mean. Because I don't remember choosing Cubicle-Dwelling Technical Writer either.
And it's not like I'm regretting the decision not to pursue music. I like being able to afford meals and books. And my deafness is a big barrier to any kind of playing I might do with other instruments.
It just saddens me a little (a lot) that I'm not able to devote the kind of time to music that I'd like. When when I am able to devote an hour here or there, it saddens me that I struggle the way I do.
Sorry, y'all. I've been "up" for two days. Now I'm back down. Hoping to swing the other direction tomorrow. Then I'll respond to some of the wonderful comments you've all left over the past couple of days.
P.S. I know I'm taking myself too seriously. But as the title to this post tells you, I'm just giving you a peek into my neurotic thoughts. :-)